Thursday, August 04, 2011

Jobs, Education and More Jobs - a Modest Proposal

This makes a lot of sense; it's fast, focused and smart. A message about jobs now plus education::
"With unemployment remaining above 9%, and fear of a double-dip recession, America needs millions of jobs NOW.
Trickle-down policies like tax cuts will not create millions of jobs.
Neither will complex infrastructure projects with long lead times, heavy capital equipment, and few workers - as ARA overseer Ron Klain explained.
Instead, we need an emergency jobs program that puts every single dollar into payroll. has a simple emergency jobs plan: hire a teacher's aide for every public school teacher in America for one year.
That's over 3 million jobs - and they can start on September 1 when school starts.
If we put 3 million of the 14 million unemployed Americans to work, the official unemployment rate would immediately drop from 9% to 7%.
In addition, the multiplier effect would add another 1 million jobs and reduce unemployment to 6.4%
How to run it?
We would administer a test to all applicants to determine the highest grade level at which they can meaningfully help the teacher.
We would give preferences to military veterans, and to workers who have exhausted their state's maximum unemployment benefits (so-called 99ers).
We would use law-enforcement databases to exclude applicants with criminal convictions and sex offenses.

How much would it cost?
If the Federal government paid each aide $30K per year, the total 1-year gross cost to employ 3 million workers is only $90 billion.
Moreover, the $90 billion gross cost would be offset by savings in unemployment, Medicaid, food stamps, and other safety-net programs. There would also be increased revenues for Social Security, Medicare, and federal/state/local taxes. Thus the net cost would be roughly $55 billion.
By contrast, the extension of the Bush tax cuts was expected to create just 1 million jobs at a cost of $858 billion - 1/4 the jobs at 15 times the cost.
Where could the $55 billion come from?
1. Extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the rich cost $858B. Raise $55B through a temporary millionaire surtax that is popular in every poll.
2. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost $160B each year. Raise $55B by bringing 1/3 of our troops home.
3. Corporate welfare, including subsidies for Big Oil and Ethanol, costs $2 trillion. Raise $55B by slicing 3% out of corporate welfare.

PetitionDear Representative,
America's jobs crisis is much worse than its debt crisis - it's an emergency.
Official unemployment is already over 9%, the worst since the Great Depression. That's 14 million Americans who cannot find any job.
Another 12 million Americans are barely surviving on part-time jobs, or have given up altogether.
And economists say the "Budget Deal" will kill another 1.8 million jobs.
We're in a downward spiral that could lead from Recession to Depression.
America cannot wait - Congress must act now.
I urge you to enact an Emergency Jobs Bill to put 3 million Americans to work immediately as Teachers' Aides.
Our overburdened teachers and struggling students need the extra help, and our desperate unemployed need the jobs.

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